The challenging experience of divorce can significantly affect your self-love and self-esteem. With that being said, the healing and recovery time can take longer than expected. So if you’re feeling not good enough and less than perfect, can you source the love from within so you can really love yourself? This unfortunately can be hard to achieve especially when your love tank is running low from a broken marriage. When this combines with the voice of the inner critic and a need for perfectionism you will have further resistance to self-love. The other significant cause is your past history which is the “old story” that you continue to maintain that contributes to the disconnection of love.
So you might never feel perfect and that’s part of being human but you can still benefit by learning how to love yourself better. The challenge then becomes how to make this happen especially when there’s no course of study that prepares us for this lesson. With that in mind, let’s explore several approaches for raising the level of self-love in your life.
Rework Your Life Story
We all have our life stories and some can be more difficult than others. But even with the best upbringing we can still harbor memories of times when we felt hurt from an injustice. The key factor to consider is how you view and relate to your story because that’s what you perpetuate. Your relationship to it will then enforce your beliefs and will determine if you feel loved, or not. Ask yourself if it is possible to be aware of your past without judging it too harshly. Only you can decide when you’re tired of repeating your story and reliving it. To continue with a negative story would only maintain the hurt which now becomes self-inflicted. When you decide to stop replaying those messages from the past in a negative way, you can then allow for love today. Keep in mind your past made you who you are today and this is someone you should be proud of. Whatever challenges you may have experienced helped create your unique qualities and that’s what makes you special. In fact, it’s the sum of these experiences that create the depth and richness of your character over time.
Practice Self-Awareness and Acceptance
To love oneself requires a keen sense of self-awareness. This awareness enables you to witness yourself with objectivity and fairness. This might sound fairly easy in theory but not so much when you’re in the midst of real life. Putting this in practice requires you to view your positive traits as well as your negative ones with humility and compassion rather than with the judgment of the ego. Focus more on the qualities that you appreciate about yourself and make peace with your weaknesses, keeping in mind that we all have them. The intention is to find a way to accept your shadow side with less judgment. For example, when judging take a step back and ask yourself how you can be more accepting. Then think about how you would extend this acceptance and compassion to your best friend or child, and then do this with yourself.
The first step when silencing negative self-talk requires you to be aware and fully present in the moment in order to observe it. Take a step back and call out the behavior and the critic. Once you identify this behavior it loses its power. You can then choose a more empowering dialogue. Another technique that is helpful is to be fully absorbed in an activity that requires your utmost focus allowing you to circumvent the chatter entirely.
Establish Loving Behaviors
Demonstrating love is important. For example, we might be able to express loving words and thoughts but what truly constitutes love is the way we demonstrate it. After all, love is really an action word. With that in mind, supportive loving behaviors consist of good self-care. These are daily practices that include proper sleep, healthy food and exercise, as well as prayer and meditation for your spiritual health. Honoring your feelings and setting boundaries are other facets of self-care. You also need to engage in fun activities that bring you joy and happiness.
Quality of Daily Life
Our time on this earth is precious so it’s important to look at how you spend your days. What activities are you doing to nourish your soul? The actions and the tasks that you perform should feel meaningful to you. By honoring what matters most to you will increase your self-love.
Show Your Love
Giving and extending our caring and love to other people including animals is another way that helps fuel our own love tanks. Seeing your love in action opens your heart and helps you feel good about yourself.
Hire a Professional
Working with a supportive professional such as a therapist or a coach can guide you in this loving practice by way of learning new behavioral skills, as well as examining belief systems that may be holding you back.
Redirect Your Energy
There are physical techniques that can further support the foundation for love. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also known as Tapping can help to reprogram the energy patterns in your body and release emotions that negate self-love. Additional practices include energy medicine, acupuncture, mindfulness, Reiki and meditation.
A Gift to the World
When you model loving behavior towards yourself you teach people how you want to be treated. This in turn gives people permission to love themselves too. To love yourself is a gift for you and the world.